decision making--looking for help
This is WAY still in the pondering stage, but after doing a bunch of online research I am still confused, and am looking for help from people who know more about dogs than I do.
We are considering getting a dog, and I am looking for help to find the breed/mix that would be appropriate for us. Most importantly, the dog must be good with children (7 and under) and able to tolerate other pets including two outdoor cats and two indoor guinea pigs. Those two factors are deal breakers. Best case scenario: I would also like a dog that barks when strangers approach, yet trainable to be quiet when told to, not exceptionally large, doesn't require heavy grooming, and not a huge "dog smell". We have a medium house with a small completely fenced yard, but I anticipate that the dog would be inside most of the time. A typical week would include only about 5 hours when nobody is at home. We've never owned a dog before and would want one that would be good for a newbie. I would prefer NOT to get a puppy--I've had a kitten before and they are fun but wild, and I imagine a puppy would be that way times ten!
In the course of my searching I keep seeing a few breeds over and over--Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Beagle, and Labrador Retriever. Everything I read about each of those breeds has some negative to it but I know that some little blurb on the internet isn't going to tell me all I need to know.
I would greatly appreciate it if some of you more knowledgeable people could help me out with some suggestions. Breed quizzes can only take me so far, you know? Thanks!!!